“Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.” 1 Peter 2:16
Today marks the 240th anniversary of the United States of America. Traditionally we pay tribute by celebrating with parades, barbecues and elaborate firework displays. Those kind of celebrations are filled with memories, but our freedoms and liberties should be at the forefront of this day. Countless individuals have sacrificed their lives so that we could continue to live as one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.
According to the late Ronald W. Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, “Without God there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience….without God there is a coarsening of the society; without God democracy will not and cannot long endure….If we ever forget that we are one Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under.”
Just as our nation suffers when we turn our back on God, it is the same when our worldly view of freedom creeps into our personal choices. We are given the freedom to make our own choices and decisions to do whatever we want, whenever we want. But we must recognize that this type of freedom totally exists outside of our Christ-given independence.
The freedom Jesus promised is found in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me…….He has sent me to proclaim freedom.” And in John 8:36, His word tells us, “So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
From the very beginning with Adam and Eve, we were given the opportunity to do the right thing; to make the right decisions. Decisions and choices that would honor Him. But in their weakness, first one, then the other, they chose to disobey God in favor of selfish desires.
God told Adam and Eve they could go into the Garden and eat from any tree. But He gave them specific instructions, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16.
As we reflect on our choices, one thing is abundantly clear. He was freeing us to do what we ought to do—to choose between right and wrong.
Christ was giving us the freedom to partner in our walk with Him and be the kind of people He designed us to be. In other words, spiritual freedom is the internal freedom to choose to obey Him and choose His way for our lives.
God’s word says in 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
As we choose to trust and follow him, our poor choices, sinful habits, negative thoughts and unjust attitudes lose their hold over us. As we deepen our commitment to Him, peace of mind takes over and the right way becomes the only way.
That my friends is true freedom.
Blessings to you and your family as we celebrate our nation’s birthday. But remember the grandest celebration of all is the freedom that comes through Christ.
I’ll be praying for you this week.